corner graphic

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jonah 1:13

 

 

However, the men rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them.

Adam Clarke Commentary

The men rowed hard - Were very unwilling to proceed to this extremity, and thought they would risk every thing rather than cast this disobedient prophet into the great deep.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jonah-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The men rowed hard - , literally “dug.” The word, like our “plowed the main,” describes the great efforts which they made. Amid the violence of the storm, they had furled their sails. These were worse than useless. The wind was off shore, since by rowing alpine they hoped to get back to it. They put their oars well and firmly in the sea, and turned up the water, as men turn up earth by digging. But in vain! God willed it not. The sea went on its way, as before. In the description of the deluge, it is repeated Genesis 7:17-18, “the waters increased and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth; the waters increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.” The waters raged and swelled, drowned the whole world, yet only bore up the ark, as a steed bears its rider: man was still, the waters obeyed. In this tempest, on the contrary, man strove, but, instead of the peace of the ark, the burden is, the violence of the tempest; “the sea wrought and was tempestuous against them”. “The prophet had pronounced sentence against himself, but they would not lay hands upon him, striving hard to get back to land, and escape the risk of bloodshed, willing to lose life rather than cause its loss. O what a change was there. The people who had served God, said, Crucify Him, Crucify Him! These are bidden to put to death; the sea rageth; the tempest commandeth; and they are careless its to their own safety, while anxious about another‘s.”


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jonah-1.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get them back to land, but they could not; for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them."

"Ships of ancient times hugged the coastline, keeping in sight of the shore."[33] The sails were not being used, for the wind was off shore; and the sails would have been no value at all; but they tried to beach their ship by the use of oars, struggling with all their might, due to their reluctance to execute Jonah. It was all to no avail, and their only source of hope lay in obeying the words of the prophet of God.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/jonah-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to bring it to the land,

but they could not,.... Or, "they digged"F12ויחתרו "et fodiebant", Montanus, Calvin, Piscator, Tarnovius; "foderunt", Vatablus, Liveleus. ; that is, the waters of the sea with their oars; not by casting anchor, as Abendana; they used all their skill and exerted all their strength; they laboured with all their might and main, as a man digs in a pit; they ploughed the ocean, and furrowed the sea, as the Latins speak, but all in vain; they rowed against wind and tide; God, his purposes and providence, were against them; and it was not possible for them to make land, and get the ship ashore, which they were desirous of, to save the life of Jonah, as well as their own; for, seeing him penitent, they had compassion on him; his character and profession as a prophet, the gravity of the man, the sedateness of his countenance, his openness of mind, and his willingness to die, wrought greatly upon the men, that they would fain have saved him if they could; and perhaps being Heathens, and not knowing thoroughly the nature of his offence, might think he did not deserve to die; but all their endeavours to save him were to no purpose:

for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them; it grew more and more so; the storm beat right against them, and drove them back faster than they came; so that it was impossible to stand against it.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jonah-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

they could not — (Proverbs 21:30). Wind and tide - God‘s displeasure and God‘s counsel - were against them.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jonah-1.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.

Rowed hard — They were willing to be at any labour to save him.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/jonah-1.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

This verse shows that the sailors and the rest were more inclined to mercy, when they saw that the holy Prophet was willing to undergo the punishment which he had deserved. When therefore, he confessed that he was guilty, and refused not to be punished, they became anxious to spare his life, though they were heathens, and also for the most part barbarians: and as each of them could not but be frightened with his immediate danger, the wonder is increased, that they had such regard for the life of one who alone was in fault, and who had now freely confessed this. But the Lord so turned their hearts, that they now saw more clearly how grievous a sin it was to flee away from the call of God, and not to yield obedience, as we have before observed, to his command. Many think that this is a light offense, and readily indulge themselves in it: but it is not in the power of men to weigh sins; the balance is deceitful when men estimate their sins according to their own judgment. Let us then learn to ascribe to God his own honor, — that he alone is Judge, and is far above us, and can alone determine how grievous or how slight any sin is. But common sense, except when men willfully deceive themselves by vain flatteries, clearly teaches this, — that it is no light offense when we evade the command of God; for, as we have stated, men do thus take away from God his supreme authority; and what is left to God, when he governs not the creatures whom he has formed, and whom he sustains by his power? The Lord, then, designed to show here, that his displeasure could not be otherwise pacified than by drowning Jonah in the sea; though, as we shall presently see, he had something greater in view. But, in the meantime, this is worthy of being observed, — that the Lord intended to make Jonah an example, that all may now know that he is not to be trifled with, but that he ought to be obeyed as soon as he commands any thing.

The word which the Prophet uses has been variously explained by interpreters. חתר, chetar, is properly, to dig; so that some think it to be a metaphorical expression, as rowers seem to dig the sea; and this sense is not unsuitable. Others carry the metaphor still higher, — that the sailors searched out or sought means by which they might drive the ship to land. But the other metaphor, as being less remote, is more to be approved. The Latins call it to toil, (moliri ) when the rowers not only apply gently their oars, but when they make a greater effort. The sailors, then, toiled to bring back the ship (29) But for what purpose? To spare the life of the man who had already confessed that he was guilty before God, and that the storm, which threatened them all with a shipwreck, had arisen through his fault: but he says that they could not, for the sea was tempestuous, as we have already seen in our yesterday’s lecture.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jonah-1.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jonah 1:13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring [it] to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.

Ver. 13. Nevertheless the men rowed] Heb. digged: for so they that row seem to do with their oars as with spades. Hence also the Latin poets say, that boatmen cut, plough, furrow the waters (Virg. Aeneid.), Vastum sulcavimus aequor. Infindunt pariter sulcos. The Seventy render it παρεβιαζοντο, they did their utmost endeavour, with violence, to bring the ship to shore, and to save Jonah: and not as those bloody emperors, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius, who took delight in the punishment of offenders, and used to come early in the morning into the marketplace to behold their executions. Non nisi coactus, said that better emperor, when he was to subscribe a sentence of death; and, Oh, that I could not write mine own name ( Utinam literas nescirem), said another upon the like occasion.

But they could not] They did but strive against the stream, for the Lord had otherwise determined it; and Voluntas Dei necessitas rei, who hath resisted his will?

For the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.] As Jonah 1:11. Praesentemque viris intentant omnia mortem.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jonah-1.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Nevertheless, Heb. And; but rightly to the proper sense of the phrase rendered here

nevertheless: Notwithstanding the lot fell on Jonah, he confessed his fault, directs them to cast him overboard, and in all this avoweth himself to be a prophet of God, and assures them of a calm sea if they do this; yet, very willing to save him,

the men rowed hard; they contrived all ways, and are willing to be at any labour to save him; they ply their oars, and strain their strength, with deep strokes tb force the ship to shore.

But they could not; all was lost labour; God had given other order to his servants, the wind and sea; both obey him, and both keep Jonah a prisoner, self-condemned, and desirous of what the mariners were very unwilling to.

For the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them: see Jonah 1:11: the sea tossed itself more violently, and by unsteady motions, like some hurricane, every moment endangered them.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jonah-1.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Nevertheless the men rowed hard to get themselves back to the land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them.’

However, to the men’s credit, they were loath to offer him as a human sacrifice, and began to put in every effort to row the ship to the shoreline, probably hoping to disembark Jonah and thus satisfy the gods. In those days ships would often hug the coast, precisely in case of such a storm as this. But it was all in vain, for the storm merely got worse and was clearly acting against them.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/jonah-1.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The sailors initially rejected Jonah"s advice and compassionately chose to drop him off at the nearest landfall. They strained every muscle for Jonah"s sake, literally digging their oars into the water. They demonstrated more concern for one man than Jonah had for the thousands of men, women, and children in Nineveh. When reaching land became impossible due to the raging sea, they prayed to Yahweh, something that we have no record that the prophet had done.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jonah-1.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Hard. They were unwilling to destroy the prophet, (Calmet) fearing to incur fresh guilt by thus treating one who had intrusted his life to them. (Josephus, Antiquities ix. 11.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jonah-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

rowed hard. The tackling had gone. See note on "wares", Jonah 1:5.

bring it = bring it back.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jonah-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.

Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not - (Proverbs 21:30, "There is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel, against the Lord." "Rowed hard" - literally, dug. Wind and tide-God's displeasure and God's counsel-were "against them."


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jonah-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) Rowed hard.—This is a sufficient rendering of the Hebrew verb, though it misses the metaphor. In every other instance of its use the word refers to the violence employed in breaking through a wall or enclosure. (See Ezekiel 8:8; Ezekiel 12:5; Ezekiel 12:7; Job 24:16; Amos 9:2; and compare the use of the derivative noun in Exodus 22:2; Jeremiah 2:34.) The figure of forcing the ship through the great wave wall is very striking. The Latin infindere sulcos and our ploughing the main are kindred metaphors.

It is a fine trait in these sailors that they will not obey the prophet’s request to throw him overboard till all efforts to save the ship have been tried.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jonah-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
Nevertheless the
There was great humanity and tender feeling in these men. They were probably affected deeply with the candid confession, the disinterested, submissive conduct of the disobedient prophet, and were unwilling to cast him into the deep, until they found that every effort to save themselves was in vain.
rowed
Heb. digged. but.
Job 34:29; Proverbs 21:30

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jonah 1:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jonah-1.html.

To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology